Six skippers congregated at Buchanness for the first of the North East Early 2006 Series.
There were three visitors from Aberdeen and three skippers from the local club. Those from further south who had planned to attend called off due to the poor weather forecast. The wind was (cold) NNE backing to N, fresh to strong on the border line between rigs one and two. The sky was overcast with occasional light rain.
The first race showed that those with No1 rigs (Ali Law and Ian Dundas) benefited in the region of the windward mark which was influenced by a wind shadow from the north shore but the big rigs were often overpowered downwind in the gusts and the No2 rigged boats were able to move back towards the front. Good eyesight was needed to control boats at the distant windward mark as there were many serious wind shifts in that region.
The fleet trialed a new procedure which allowed late finishing boats to call for a tuning timeout of 3 minutes between races. This was requested at the recent AGM as the usual “Three and a Break” format was felt to disadvantage the back-markers who had no time to make adjustments or repairs before the start of the next race. The timeout system was further refined during the day to allow any skipper to call for a 3 minute timeout. This was seen to be beneficial for all especially on a day where the strong winds required skippers to make several adjustments and repairs to their boats. The traditional longer breaks were still held after each group of three races.
Ian Dundas got off to a good start with 4 wins on the trot – his Stealth coping well with the strong conditions. Ali Law came back to win a couple. Ken Ewen was rewarded with two wins and showed that steady sailing in these conditions without incidents can produce very good results. Jimmy Bisset and Brian Robertson also had win each.
Final positions were:
The late 2005 North East Clubs three race winter series sailed in IOM`s at Brechin, Aberdeen and Buchanness Clubs was won by Colin Brown from Buchanness sailing an Italiko.
Attendance was slightly down on the early 2005 series with 16 skippers participating and an average fleet of 8 boats. Each event was threatened by a poor weather forecast which did not materialise on the day. Understandably the poor forecasts put off some skippers from traveling but the ones who braved the elements were rewarded with excellent sailing conditions which brought out the different characteristics of each of the 3 North East venues.
Brechin, with its short courses and subtle wind shifts caused by the topography, called for tactical sailing and fine boat tune. 10 skippers participated in light wind conditions. Care was required at the windward mark as all the fleet seemed to arrive together. Skippers benefited from the excellent on site cafeteria to warm up between the race sessions.
Aberdeen with its longer courses allowed skippers to take options on which way to go up the beat often with significant consequence ( positive or negative). Despite the long course, races were often won or lost on the last tack to the finish. No on site cafeteria and a rim of ice around the reservoir edge were a distinct disadvantage.
Buchanness is renowned for its strong wind and, being closer to the Arctic than Aberdeen or Brechin, it is also generally colder. Northerly winds up to 25 mph with snow storms saw Buchanness at its best with skippers setting up their No2 rigs for boat speed in the lulls and control in the gusts. 5 skippers toughed it out except for a brief period when running for shelter (boats and skippers ) was called for.
Over the 3 events in the series it was good to see the success of the RYGG handicap with beginners mixing it with the more experienced scratch sailors. It was also interesting to see that the reliability of boat and electrics and avoiding contact with marks or other boats had more impact on the outcome than pure boat speed.
Overall Results of the Late 2005 Series:
1. C Brown Buchanness – Italiko
2. I Dundas Aberdeen – Stealth
3. A Law Buchanness – Topiko
All MYA skippers ( local and visitors ) are invited to attend the early 2006 series which is provisionally planned to be held at Buchanness on 11th February, Aberdeen on 18th March and Brechin on 9th April 2006.
Five skippers gathered at Peterhead for the 3rd and final round of the 2005 N/E Travellers Late Series. The skippers decided that, because of the small turnout and because it was a “fun event”, the event would be sailed without a RO. Everyone promised to be on their best behaviour and this proved to be the case – there being no protests. However, in the first 4 races Ali Law did five penalty turns mostly for hitting marks.
At 10 30am the first race was put on the water sailing round the usual triangle and sausage course. The wind was from the NW but was shifting at times to a more northerly direction. The general wind strength was 15mph, but in one bad gust which lasted for ten minutes, the wind strength went up to about 30mph and was accompanied by snow. Other than that it was a good day to sail.
The first race of the day was won by Ali. But it just got worse for him as the day went on, failing to finish in one race due to a faulty steering servo. Colin Brown who had won the first two NE Club Late Series events (and therefore had the series sown up) had a good second place in the first race but his day would only go from good to terrible. The wind seemed to test man and boat. Colin Tait back after being very successful in the big boat sailing suffered defeat after defeat and was glad to see the last race realising it was going to be a long way back. Brian Robertson was again making progress and finished the day in third place beating both Colins. Ian Dundas sailed a steady regatta never really getting into serious difficulties and came out the winner from Ali.
At the end of the day we proved yet again that if you listen to the forecast you would never sail. Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was a great day to sail. I think that one metres are at their best in number 2 rig and today was no exception.
Report by Ali Law
Final positions were:
Despite a bitterly cold forecast there was a good turnout for the second event in the North East Clubs winter series. Four local skippers were joined by 3 visitors from the Brechin and 3 from the Buchanness clubs. The hard frost overnight had left ice on the fringe of the reservoir but the race area was clear and with sunny skies and a light wind of 5 knots from the west, it promised to be a good days sailing.
Race Officer Ian Dundas assisted by his Breton crew of Jean and Corentin Guenec and Yannick Le Nours set a long starboard hand Olympic course.
RYGG handicap was used with 6 skippers starting on scratch. Racing commenced promptly at 11am and ran through until 3pm using the “3 and a break” format. After lunch the course was adjusted to port hand rounding and lengthened to take best advantage of good beating conditions. The wind died towards the end making for some interesting strategies from skippers searching for the better puffs and shifts.
10 races were completed. The Red and Yellow handicap sailors held off the challenges of the Scratch sailors in the first three races with Peter Lowe getting 2 wins with the club TS2 and Shakey getting a win with his Stealth. As the wind dropped the more experienced skippers came through with Colin Brown and Ali Law splitting the other 7 races 4 and 3. Colin Tait, returning to R/C sailing after the summer in dinghy’s, was regularly at the front as was Boyd Baird and Ralph Knowles. Ken Ewan and Mel Percival improved as the day progressed as they searched for the boat tune to suit the conditions and the best route up the beat.
In the end the overall winner was Colin Brown with his Italiko who stayed in the top three all day.
Final positions were: